About the Author
Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara is a marine conservation ecologist who has worked for 40 years to advance knowledge of the natural history, ecology, behaviour and taxonomy of marine mammals and cartilaginous fishes. He earned a PhD degree in marine biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California at San Diego) in 1985 with a thesis on the taxonomy and ecology of devil rays, of which he described a new species, Mobula munkiana. In 1986 he funded the Milan-based Tethys Research Institute, which he chaired and directed until 1997 and now again since 2010. In 1991 he spearheaded the creation of the first high-seas marine protected area, the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals, established in 1999 by a treaty amongst Italy, France and Monaco. He has served as the Italian Commissioner at the International Whaling Commission (1999-2004), and as Chair of the Scientific Committee of ACCOBAMS (2002-2010). Currently the CoP-appointed Councillor for aquatic mammals at the Convention on Migratory Species; co-chair of the IUCN Task Force on marine mammal protected areas; deputy chair of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group; member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group; regional coordinator for the Mediterranean and Black Seas of IUCN WCPA - Marine; and Advisor, Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation. Teaches science and policy of the conservation of marine biodiversity at the University Statale of Milan. Author of about 160 scientific publications, and several books and popular writings. Michela Podesta is Curator of the Vertebrate Zoology Department of the Natural History Museum of Milan (1991 - today). Scientific coordinator of the national cetacean stranding network and manager of the online stranding database (https://mammiferimarini.unipv.it), is author of many papers on the biology of Mediterranean cetacean. Participated as team leader to international research cruises (tagging, sightings, acoustic, mitigation procedures). Contract professor (anatomy of wild mammals) at the University of Padua (2000). Member of the Italian Delegation of the Scientific Committee at the International Whaling Commission (2006-2012). Founder of the European Cetacean Society (1986). Barbara E. Curry is a Senior Research Scientist in the Physiological Ecology and Bioenergetics Laboratory of University of Central Florida's Conservation Biology Program. Her research interests include stress and reproductive physiology, energetics, assimilation efficiency and nutritional ecology, with applications to ecosystem-based population management and conservation. She holds a PhD in the Biological Sciences from Texas A&M University, an MSc in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and a BA from University of California, Santa Cruz. Her doctoral research was fully funded by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and focused on phylogenetic relationships among bottlenose dolphins, genus Tursiops, worldwide. Curry was a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow at the NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. Working as a NOAA scientist for nearly ten years, she conducted a wide range of research projects including studies of marine mammal molecular genetics and of the physiological effects of stress in mammals. She has extensive laboratory experience including in molecular genetics, radioimmunoassay, histology and physiology. Field experience includes marine mammal stranding, recovery and necropsy, and abundance surveys in areas such as the Amazon River (Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia) and the Gulf of Mexico. She has taught a range of courses in the subjects of biology, physiology, anatomy, and vertebrate natural history. Curry has also served as a Mentor for the Harvey Mudd College Upward Bound Math and Science Program, and as a Lecturer for the National Science Foundation Young Scholars Program.